N.C. Residents Intensify Protests Against Republican Policies

Changes to voting guidelines and funding for programs for children are fueling growing acts of civil disobedience in North Carolina.

Posted: 05/09/2013 04:24 PM EDT
N.C. Residents Intensify Protests Against Republican Policies

A growing number of protesters in North Carolina, angered by a series of policy decisions by Gov. Pat McCrory, are being arrested and jailed for their roles in various acts of civil disobedience.

So far, the protests have led to the arrests of dozens of North Carolinians, from a group of college students and religious and labor leaders to an 83-year-old grandmother. They are part of a group of civil rights and advocacy groups in North Carolina that are planning to travel throughout the state to protest the governor's policies, from cutting unemployment benefits to the requirement for applicants in a job training program to undergo drug testing.

Rev. William J. Barber II, president of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, announced a 25-county tour to raise awareness of the policies of the governor.

“This is in response to the avalanche of the extremist policies enacted by the Republican governor and the Republican led, Tea Party-backed people in government,” Barber said, in an interview with BET.com.

“They have cut 30,000 children, Black and white, from the preschool rolls,” he said. “They are trying to restart the death penalty. And we have the highest number of people on death row who have been exonerated. They have ended Sunday voting and have rolled back early voting. When we looked at all this, we decided that we had to go to another level.”

Barber called on citizens across the state to engage in non-violent civil disobedience and to intensify the level of protests at the state capitol in Raleigh.

Protesters say they are angered by the cut in the payroll tax credit for more than 900,000 poor and working people in North Carolina as well as a rejection of federal funding to expand Medicaid coverage for more than 500,000 residents who don’t have health insurance.

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(Photo: MSNBC)

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